Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday stressed the importance of cooperation in the face of world economic headwinds, at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia, which is running through Friday in China’s Hainan Province.
“In face of world economic headwinds, no country can stay immune or resolve all the problems on its own. It’s imperative to seek an inclusive path of mutually beneficial cooperation. We need to embrace the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind,” according to Li.
“China’s economy has been operating steadily since the beginning of the year, with positive changes emerging and market expectations being improved. China will not resort to massive economic stimulus to boost growth, but will continue to open up and innovate to energize market players and strengthen endogenous impetus for economic development.”
China has started to formulate matching regulations and rules to support the implementation of the newly-adopted Foreign Investment Law. The supporting rules will go into effect together with the foreign investment law on January 1, 2020, he said.
Market access for foreign investment
China will further relax controls on market access and shorten the negative list for foreign investment, Li said.
By the end of June, China would have revised and issued the negative list for foreign investment, the negative list for foreign investment in the free-trade zones, and the foreign investment guidance catalog, Li said.
China will shorten the negative list and further open up to foreign investment industries including value-added telecom service, medical institutions, education services, transportation, infrastructure, and energy and resources, Li said.
China will also facilitate trade by lowering the cost and improving the efficiency of customs clearance, the premier said.
“We shall treat enterprises of all types of ownership equally, and ensure fair play and common development among Chinese and foreign businesses with impartial supervision,” Li said.
China will further facilitate overseas-funded companies in setting up venture capitals and investment companies, and improve relevant rules on overseas investors’ strategic investment in listed firms and their mergers with and acquisitions of domestic companies, Li said.
He said the country will open up its bond market, and improve relevant regulations to make it easier for foreign investors to invest in and trade the country’s bonds.
China will clarify the stipulations on investment from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan in the supporting regulations of the Foreign Investment Law so as to bring the three regions more development opportunities, Li said.
Resisting risks and challenges
China is ready to work with other Asian countries to resist risks and challenges and expand the space for development, Li said.
Asia is an important force for maintaining world peace and stability, and a major engine for boosting global economic growth, Li said.
“Promoting economic growth and improving people’s livelihood are common goals for all Asian countries, and we are willing to make concerted efforts with other Asian countries to resist risks and challenges and expand the space for development,” Li said.
“All parties should work together to maintain the overall environment for peaceful development, deepen strategic mutual trust, and promote an Asian approach featuring mutual respect, consensus building and accommodation of each other’s comfort levels,” he continued.
Li called on all parties to cooperate to enhance regional integration, reach a win-win solution on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement negotiations as soon as possible, promote the alignment of regional integration mechanisms, build a more dynamic Asian market and synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of Asian countries.
He also called for concerted efforts from Asian countries to create new patterns of innovative development, strengthen cooperation in innovation, create an open, fair, transparent and predictable business environment, and promote the sharing of innovation resources and outcomes, so as to make the Asian economy advance steadily and press ahead with the road of innovation-driven development.
Free and fair trade
“All parties must actively push for the global governance reform, which should not aim to start a new structure, or to serve a minority of countries, but to seek the broadest possible consensus,” the premier said.
“China supports reforms of the World Trade Organization, but its basic principles and core values must be maintained.”
Li reiterated calls to safeguard the rule-based multilateral trading system and seek win-win cooperation, stressing that no country can stay immune alone from such challenges as downward pressure in the global economy.
The theme of this year’s Boao Forum is “Shared Future, Concerted Action, Common Development”. It has about 50 official sessions, with CEO dialogues and roundtable meetings.
The main topics include an open world economy, multilateralism, innovation-driven development and high-quality development.
The annual gathering is dubbed the “Asian Davos”. It has been held in Boao, Hainan Province since 2001.